Tuesday, March 25, 2014
The Sad, Strange History of “Degenerate Art”
“Crazy at any price!” read a sign above the modern
art masterpieces at the Nazi-sponsored Entartete Kunst (“Degenerate Art,” in English) exhibition in Munich, Germany, in 1937. The fevered brainchild of art-obsessed Adolf Hitler, Entartete Kunst
aimed at showing not only what “Jewish” and “Bolshevik” art looked
like, but also arguing how the degeneracy of those artists and their
work threatened the spiritual health of the German people, the “master
race” Hitler believed would rule the world, with him as their leader.
The Neue Galerie in New York City revisits that sad moment in modern art history with the exhibition Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937,
which runs through June 30, 2014. The exhibition gathers together many
of the “crazy” works labeled as degenerate, holds them up against
examples of the Hitler-approved German art, and takes us down the long,
strange road that led up to that Munich show. The result is a sad,
strange history that will leave you shaking your head at the past, but
will also make you wonder if it could happen, again, here and now. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "The Sad, Strange History of 'Degenerate Art.'"